What Does Rule 60(b) Do?
Under Rule 60 of the North Carolina general statutes, a court may relieve a party or their legal representative from a final judgement, order, or proceedings for the following reasons:
- Mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect;
- Newly discovered evidence which by due diligence could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial under Rule 59(b);
- Fraud (whether heretofore denominated intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or other misconduct of an adverse party;
- The judgment is void;
- The judgment has been satisfied, released, or discharged, or a prior judgment upon which it is based has been reversed or otherwise vacated, or it is no longer equitable that the judgment should have prospective application; or
- Any other reason justifying relief from the operation of the judgment.
When Does this Rule Come into Play?
Having the court reconsider a judgement is generally used in extraordinary circumstances and these types of motions are granted sparingly. A party cannot file a Rule 60 motion simply because they did not agree with a judge’s disposition. The motion can be brought where there is evidence of an error, mistake, fraud, excusable neglect, or any other reasons specified in the statute.
How Does it Work?
A Rule 60 motion may be filed at any time up to one year from the judgment being entered. Oftentimes, a lot of time will transpire in between the judgment being entered and a Rule 60 motion being filed, and the same judge that originally entered the order may not be available to review the motion. Fortunately, proper Rule 60 motions may be heard and determined by a judge other than the judge who entered the order in question.
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